Research Assistant / Associate in Bioelectronic Systems Technology

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology wishes to recruit a Research Assistant/Research Associate to work in Dr Roisin Owen's Bioelectronic Systems Technology group.


After months living in space, astronauts display reduction in muscle volume and strength and in bone mass coupled with microarchitectural alterations, despite extensive use of exercise countermeasures. In addition to spaceflight-related conditions, aging and sedentariness of the population are often accompanied by sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength) and osteoporosis (bone weakness), conditions without any highly efficient treatments available. There is therefore an urgent need for the development of new therapeutic strategies acting on the two arms of the musculoskeletal system. Recently, the myokine irisin was shown to help prevent bone and muscle loss in hind-limb suspended mice. More generally, the development of new therapeutic strategies or new space countermeasures requires efficient pre-screening models with advanced in vitro and in vivo models able to simulate the musculoskeletal deconditioning and osteosarcopenia. Advanced 3D models of bone remodeling, displaying a high degree of control on the adopted culture parameters are still missing. The BONUS project, funded by the European Space Agency, aims at investigating the potential of irisin for new therapies or space countermeasures. The platform will integrate state of the art sensors based on electrochemical sensing and more specifically on Organic Electrochemical transistors (OECTs).


The ideal candidate will have a PhD (or be close to completing a PhD) in Chemistry/Material Science, Biomedical Engineering or related disciplines with a strong academic background and publication record. The candidate must have experience in OECT fabrication and application. Experience with cell culture and with microfluidics is also required. The candidate will have the responsibility to design and fabricate sensing platforms. They will develop specific functionalization protocols to detect key target analytes. Integration of the sensing platform within the perfusion system will be required for the sensing protocols to be optimised accordingly.

Experience in biofunctionalisation is also a plus.


This is a multidisciplinary project and the successful candidate should be willing to and capable of interacting with team members from disciplines ranging from cell biology to chemistry to physics. The candidate will also be expected to disseminate results to the broader scientific community, thus having experience with written and oral presentation skill sets.


More information about the Bioelectronic Systems Technology group is available here:

More information about the Department is available here:

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.


For an informal enquries about the post, please write to Dr Roisin Owens via e-mail,

Please quote reference NQ21951 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


Further information


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